Braxton A. Cosby · Science-Fiction · Young Adult

ARC Review: Protostar (The Star Crossed Saga #1) by Braxton A. Cosby

25735531Author: Braxton A. Cosby
Release Date: 26th September 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction
Series: The Star-Crossed Saga
Edition:
e-book
Pages: 312
Publisher: Cosby Media Productions

Blurb:

What Would You Choose, love or duty?

On the brink of civil war, the Torrian Alliance continues with its mission to obliterate Star-children across the universe in order to suppress an intergalactic evil. Following the recommendations of his council, King Gregorio Derry reluctantly agrees to send his only son William on a mission to restore honor to his family name. William seeks to complete his assignment, the elimination of a Star-child named Sydney on planet Earth, but when the assassination is delayed he begins to realize an emotional connection with his target. With conspiracy threatening his home planet, and a hidden menace on Earth seeking to secure a vested interest, William finds himself torn between irrevocable duty and sacrificing everything he stands for to defend Sydney. As William and Sydney struggle to overcome their impossible circumstances, they start to wonder if the connection of two Star-Crossed lovers will be enough to save them from certain doom.

Review

★★★+1/2

Protostar by Braxton A. Cosby, the first book in The Star-Crossed Saga, is a nice starting to a promising new YA series.

Overall the story was good, quite engaging in fact, and the plot was well thought out. The writing was easy and flowed smoothly making this book an enjoyable and easy read. I liked the different cosmic concepts expressed in the story and enjoyed the romantic theme as well.

The book started out with a nice opening and I was pulled into the story right from the first page. It had a nice hook and the pace was easily set in the first few pages itself.

The characterization, though, felt weak and for some reason, I wasn’t able to connect to the main leads, neither the male lead nor the female, though I did like them and cared just enough to read the entire story. The ending was good and fitting for a book that’ll soon have a sequel, so all in all this book makes for a nice read.

Though I did feel that at places (however on only rare occasions) the sentence structures could have been better and the dialogues were not right. This can be due to the cultural difference in the use of English language in American English, but I couldn’t help but noticing and mentioning it here.

I’d recommend this book to mainly Young Adult lovers but I’m sure that even Sci-Fi readers would enjoy this book.

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Fantasy · Magic · Magic/Elementals · Olga Gutsol · Paranormal · Supernatural · Young Adult

Book Review: Stories From The Witch Store by Olga Gutsol

Author: Olga Gutsol
Release Date: 20th August 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal > Magic and Witches, Humour
Edition: e-book
Pages: 114
Publisher:

Blurb:

Funny and imaginative chronicles from the life of a hereditary witch Arelia who, along with her loyal companions Cat and house-ghost Puck, moved to the small town of Burnaville to open the Magic Potions store. Here she falls into a lifetime of boredom. How have her magical powers resulted in this? What is missing from the charming life she has built?

Review

Stories From The Witch Store is a delightful young adult read sprinkled with beautiful and heart-warming illustrations that’ll win your heart!

This book is written in the form of diary entries from the perspective of the main protagonist, Arelia, the town witch. It is a beautiful, beautiful book and I’m sure that it will steal your heart with the author’s clever writing and impressive imagination. It has been so long since I’ve read such a delightful book about witches. The wittiness of Arelia and her seemingly mundane life with Puck, the house spirit, and Cat, her familiar, is outstanding and very, very funny.

Each and every diary entry is a treat to read, whether short or long. Arelia is a very strong protagonist and I was able to connect to her instantly. I liked her from the first diary entry and was in love with her adorable character by the 2nd page itself. Even all the secondary characters are well-crafted and quite relatable, especially that of Puck and Cat – they’re my absolute favourites.

I’d recommend this book to each and everyone who loves reading, especially fantasy and paranormal (magic and witches) readers.

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Bridget Nash · Dystopian · Young Adult

Book Review: Players by Bridget Nash

Author: Bridget Nash
Release Date: 11th October 2015
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Edition: E-book
Pages: 500
Publisher: Wallace Publishing

Rating: ★★★+1/2

Blurb:

Ryan Scribe is eighteen and has it made.
He lacks nothing and doesn’t even know anyone who lacks anything.
Then he hears a beautiful actress say, “Truth is often stranger than perception,” and he begins to look at his world with new eyes.
All it takes is one wrong question and he is swiftly banished from the only home he’s ever known. Forced to join a band of traveling players, stage actors who look like they could have stepped straight out of Elizabethan England, Ryan begins to question his life, his country and everyone around him. Can he really trust a group of actors? Will his questions land him in even more danger?

Review

Players by Bridget Nash is a unique Dystopian read with a touch of Shakespearian feel.

The plot of this book was quite unique and considerably impressive. I liked the dystopian setting, which is always the most important element in this genre, and I also liked the characters. The artistic Shakespearian touch tot he story in terms of writing as well as the concept really added a layer of positive complexity as well as a defined character to the plot.

I liked the main character of Ryan Scribe as he was very relatable and easy to like and loved reading about him and his journey. I also liked the secondary characters. but overall the story went a bit too heavy and hence I’m deduction 1/2 a star from my rating of 4 out of 5.

In spite of having liked so much, I feel that the overall story seemed a bit too heavy and hence I’m deducting 1/2 a star from my rating of 4 out of 5.

I’d recommend this book to all Dystopian lovers and the fans of Shakespearian literature.

More from the author: Author Interview: Bridget Nash


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D.H. Gibbs · Fantasy · Paranormal · Young Adult

Novella Review: Nika: A Seychatka Novella by D.H. Gibbs

29380359Author:  D.H. Gibbs 
Release Date: 1st March 2016
Series: –
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Edition: E-book
Pages: 96
Publisher: Sandphics Creations

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Taken off the streets Nika is thrown into an unknown world where she’s held captive. As an orphan, she has been on the run and must find her way out before they discover her secret. But these people held the knowledge of her family and who she is. Will she be able to find out before her secret is revealed? After hundreds of years, Demyan has finally found the rightful ruler of his race. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know who she is and is doing everything in her power to escape him. Time is running out and Demyan has to convince Nika to take her rightful place otherwise the battle will be lost and his race extinguished.


Review

Nika by D.H.Gibbs is a Young-Adult Fantasy read that is sure to capture your attention right from the start till the very end.

This book is a real example of how really powerful novellas can be. This is, of course, the first book in a series, but I definitely loved it and will be keeping an eye out for the other parts in this series.

The main character was likable and relatable and the other secondary characters were also good. I liked the writing of the author as its simplicity made this book a very easy and a quick read.
I liked the basic concept of the story about how Nika was the long lost heir of her family, which she was completely unaware of. And I especially liked how she was made aware of everything and how well she adapted to her new surroundings. I see a lot of potential in this series and can’t wait to read the next part!

I liked this book quite a bit and would recommend it to all the YA and Fantasy lovers.


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Mystery · Suspense · Tim Van Minton · Young Adult

Book Review: The Little Yarmouth Abduction by Tim Van Minton

31355126Author: Tim Van Minton 
Release Date: 1st August 2016
Series: –
Genre: YA, Mystery, Suspense
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 204
Publisher: CreateSpace

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

Falsely accused of murder, twelve-year-old Evan Peregrine battles through a raging storm to get home to the island of Little Yarnmouth, only to find it deserted. Searching for explanations he is soon plunged into the savage world of the Conkwoyoto, an Arctic tribe that turned to piracy after the polar ice cap broke apart. But there is something strangely familiar about these fearsome men and their tattooed faces, and memories of the day he lost his leg and his mother in a collision with an iceberg come flooding back. Now Evan must avoid being captured by the police and the Conkwoyoto while trying to track down the missing islanders, prove his innocence in a murder, and uncover the mystery of the Arctic tribe that’s traveled thousands of miles to Little Yarnmouth Island.

Review

The Little Yarnmouth Abduction by Tim Van Minton is a delightful Young Adult read that will capture your heart and leave you smiling in its wake.

I’ve been reviewing books for almost 3 whole years now and sometimes I come across a book that makes me realize again just why I keep on reading self-published books and reviewing them month after month. Ever so often I come across books that completely steal my heart and leave a long lasting impression on me, sometimes so strong that I have to read those books again, and again, to relive their brilliance. The Little Yarnmouth Abduction is exactly that kind of a book (and so much more, if I am being truly honest.)

Recently, there has been a steady stream of hit YA books that are making big bucks all around the world. Some are good and some are, well, not so good, but when I read this book they all paled in comparison. I honestly don’t know where to begin praising this book, and even how to do it. This book is a delightful, delightful read. I savored reading each and every single page of it and, in fact, looked forward to reading the entire book again as soon as I finished it.giphy-4

The storyline was well thought out and, for me, simply astonishing. I have never heard of mass island kidnapping or anything close, so I thoroughly enjoyed the story all the way through. It was a marvelously brilliant and an extremely clever plot and I loved the pacing and tension that the author cleverly practiced.

The characterization was so brilliant that I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Evan the moment he got up groggily from his sleep on the first-second page and innocently attached his leg to his knee. He is sure to stay with me forever as one of my favorite (and awfully adorable) characters. The cast of secondary characters was equally brilliant and I loved each and every single one of them.

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The ending was absolutely smashing as it gave me hopes that there’s a second part on the way (or at least I hope that it is.) The writing was clever and smooth and the light and witty tone of narration was a perfect fit for this story.

I would recommend this book to each and every person who loves reading a good book with impressive characters. I am very sure that this book will definitely win your heart in the first chapter itself.


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Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Children's Fiction · Fantasy · Graphic-Novel · Magic · Mystery · Paranormal · Tania del R · Young Adult

Graphic Novel Review: Warren The 13th And The All-Seeing Eye

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Author: Tania del Rio
Illustrator: Will Staehle 

Release Date: November 24, 2015
Series: 
Genre:  Fantasy | Mystery | Paranormal | Children’s Fiction | Adventure | Sequential Arts > Graphic Novel
Edition: ASCM
Pages: 113
Publisher: Quirk Books
Distributer: –
Source: NetGalley

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb: 

Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it! This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

Review

Warren the 13th And The All-Seeing Eye is a delightful read not only for children but for adults as well (at least I enjoyed reading it and would love to read it again!)

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WT13ATASE is about Warren (the 13th), a toad-faced and unlucky 12-year-old orphan who stays with his uncle Rupert – a lazy dumb chap – and his wife, Annaconda – a clever witch who continuously troubles Warren to search The All-Seeing Eye (a legendary treasure about which no one seems to know.) Warren is a bright kid who tries to see the good in every situation and who dreams about growing up and restoring his forefather’s hotel to its full glory someday. He’s a good lad who tries to do everything at the same time and wanting nothing in return.

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Warren stole my heart in the first few pages of the book and, as I read ahead, I was totally spellbound by his cuteness and willingness to help everyone. It really broke my heart to see him trying to be the bellhop of the hotel, carrying all those heavy luggage alone, with no help from his lazy uncle. I also loved chef Bunion, and Mr. Friggs, Petulia and Paleface, but I hated aunt Annaconda and despised uncle Rupert, all to say that the characterization is terrific! The author made me feel like I know all these characters well enough to have such strong emotions and that’s where this book earned all the raves from me.

The illustrations are truly magical. I loved them and they managed to take the story to a whole new level.

This book is simply outstanding and I’d recommend it to all the children, and even to their parents and brothers and sisters. Everyone needs to read such an amazing book!

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Adventure · Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Dennis Montoya · Fantasy · H.C. Strom · Young Adult

Book Review: Over The Dragonwall by H.C. Strom and Dennis D. Montoya (Dragonwall Chronicles #1)

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Author:  Dennis Montoya & H.C. Strom
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Series: Dragonwall Chronicles
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Adventure
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 277
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Publicist
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A thousand years ago the gods brokered a peace treaty with the dragons to save mankind. As a monument, the magical Dragonwall was built stretching from the Dwarven city of Farreach to the port city of Seareach. Over generations, the great dragon’s stories have turned to myths and the treaty forgotten. The wall’s magic is failing and the call for a hero goes unanswered.
Oberon a young monk and his friends leave the city of Delvingdeep to answer the riddle of the existence of dragons. No one expected a short cut though a swamp would ever lead them on a heroic adventure over the Dragonwall.

Review

I enjoyed reading Over The Dragonwall a lot and I really think that this book needs more publicity and attention as it can very well end up as a bestseller among the young adult crowd (but only after rectifying the few faults it has. Read on to know more.)

I loved the concept and the story line, they are simply brilliant. The characterization is also good but needs some work to make it better. Obi as a lead is a really good character and the other characters, the other members of the party, are also a real treat. The concept is a winner but there were a few problems in the execution. The editing is poor. Sometimes there is a slip in narration and out of nowhere it changes to the first person at more than one place.

The words sometimes are repeated and the dialogues feel unnecessary and unpolished. I really think that this book needs some heavy editing and also a new cover, and then it’ll be ready to climb the best selling list.

This book is a mixture of Hobbit and harry potter, sprinkled with dragon tales and undead ghouls (zombies) and wolves and witches – so you see, there’s everything that a fantasy fanatic like me wants from a book.

In spite of poor editing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I’d love to read it again whenever I’ll have some free time (yes, it’s that good!) I’m looking forward to reading the sequel as the book cleverly ends at the beginning of a new adventure.

Bookstagram:

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Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Why do you haunt my dreams, hag?”

Highlights: Brilliant storyline.

Lowlights: Editing.

Memorable Quotes: 

Tomorrow he might see a dragon, and everything will change.

He hated not knowing the reason for things.

Final Thoughts: A beautiful story that’ll take you on a unique adventurous journey.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Dystopian · Jason Luthor · Post Apocalypse · Suspense · Thriller · Young Adult

Book Review: Floor 21

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Author: Jason Luthor
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Series: 
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, YA, Suspense, Thriller
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 234
Publisher: Kindle Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

As humanity lives out the remainder of its existence at the top of an isolated apartment tower, young Jackie dares to question Tower Authority and their ban on traveling into the tower’s depths. Intelligent and unyielding, Jackie ventures into the shadows of the floors below. But will her strong will and refusal to be quiet—in a society whose greatest pride is hiding the past—bring understanding of how humanity became trapped in the tower she has always called home, or will it simply be her undoing?

Review

I LOVED this book. It started off pretty great and ended on the same note. Floor 21 is written in the form of recordings in alternate person and I truly enjoyed how this format took this story to a whole new level.

It was really intriguing and kept me on edge the entire time. I was constantly trying to figure out the mystery of the tower as well as that of what awaits outside it. The author has done a splendid job in beautifully carving out the story.

The pace of the story is great and the voice of the main character just wooed me! It was literally like sitting in front of a teenage girl and listening to her blabbering about her life.

I was hooked from the start to the very end. Each and every chapter or recording kept me glued to the book and made me finish the book in a day.

There were a few loose ends left at the end, but considering it was in the form of recordings, I’m ready to give this book benefit of the doubt. Though I do hope that there’ll be a sequel to follow this book so that we can finally know what really happened and that what lies outside the Tower.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “My name id Jackie, and it’s not so bad living here.”

Highlights: Format of the book.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A great dystopian book.


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Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Erin Rhew · Fantasy · Romance · Young Adult

Book Review: The Fulfillment (Fulfillment #3)

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Author: Erin Rhew
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Series: The Fulfilment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Pages: 222
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Erin!)
Preceded by: The Outlanders
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★☆

Blurb:

Layla’s world tumbles out of control when she discovers the truth of her parentage and realizes the Prophecy—the one she upended her entire life to defend—is incomplete. When her new friends share the entire Prophecy, the revelations contained within it alter her destiny and challenge everything she and Wil believe in. Now, she must confront the Outlander queen to save the Ethereal kingdom while grappling with this new reality. Tortured and imprisoned, Nash accepts his fate and offers the First Ones the one thing he has left to give: his life. In a desperate attempt to save the people he loves most, he surrenders himself to the Outlander queen and a destiny darker than he could have ever dreamed possible.
Wil, tormented by the consequences of his choices, realizes he may never be able to uphold his end of the Prophecy. His mistake casts a deep, foreboding shadow over his kingdom and those he loves while its ripples threaten to shatter both the Prophecy and everything he and his family have sworn to protect.
In this epic conclusion, lives are lost, kingdoms clash, friendships are tested, and love and fate collide

Review

This book marks the end of an awesome trilogy, that I believe, every fantasy reader must read. As much as I hate that this series has ended, I am quite relieved because it ended in a really good way.

Though I liked it, I couldn’t help but wonder if this one was a little rushed. It surely felt like it. It didn’t disappoint me in the least if anything it just felt really fast-paced (unlike the first two books that were medium paced.)

The overall tying-the-loose-ends thing worked out well and every question was answered before the book ended on a happy note. I liked how the author gave a beautiful shape to the love triangle that was looming on top of everything, and, I never say this for love triangles, but this one made complete sense.

There’s just so much to say that I don’t know how to write everything in this review, all I’m going to say is- it is a series well written and a plot well executed.

I’ll look forward to reading more books by author Erin Rhew.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Then you don’t have the entire prophecy.”

Highlights: The satisfactory ending.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant YA Fantasy read.


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Book Reviews (by Genre) · Erin Rhew · Fantasy · High fantasy · Miscellaneous · Romance · Young Adult

Book Review: The Outlander (The Fulfillment #2)

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Author: Erin Rhew
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Series: The Fulfillment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 345
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author
Buy it hereAmazon

 


Blurb

With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.

Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.

Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.

Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.

Review

5 Stars Black

The Outlanders start right where the first part, The Prophecy, ends. It feels as if you’re reading the book in continuation without any break, which in this case, is a good thing, cause really loved the way the book’s been written.

I enjoyed this par more than the first as there were some amazing detailing in relation to the awesome world build by the author for this series. It had layers and layers of elements which took the entire experience to the next level.

The new characters that were introduced in this book are so amazing that either you’ll love them or completely hate them! I mean, this part evokes such strong emotions that it leaves you crazily craving to know what happens next and wonder “how the hell is everything going to get better!?” The drama added an another layer to this awesome story and the love triangle successfully created a complicated web of suspense (in a good way.)

This is one of those rare instances where the middle book of a trilogy is actually the best part of the story. And I’m happy that i read this book, simply because it is an awesome Fantasy read!

If you’re looking for a kickass Fantasy series then this trilogy is what you need!

You can read my review of The Prophecy (The Fulfillment #1) here.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Will stared down at the delicate hand gripping his arm.

Highlights: World-building.

Lowlights: None. 

Final Thoughts: An amazing Fantasy read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Karen McQuestion · Romance · Science-Fiction · Young Adult

Book Review: From A Distant Star

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Author: Karen McQuestion
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Science-Fiction | Young Adult | Romance | Contemporary
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 256
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

 


Blurb

When Lucas Walker inexplicably recovers from a terminal illness, everyone is astonished –except for his girlfriend Emma, who never gave up hope. However, as friends and family celebrate the miracle, Emma becomes alarmed: Lucas has changed. He speaks haltingly, can’t recall past events, and even his own dog doesn’t recognize him. Emma begins to suspect something is terribly wrong. What happened to the Lucas she loved? Does his strange behavior have something to do with the shooting light that fell into Lucas’s backyard the night he recovered?

As the two set off on a road trip in search of the truth, the journey takes an unexpected turn. First they’re shot at by unknown enemies and then helped by unlikely allies. Before long, Emma and Lucas are plunged into a desperate life or death race against time.

Packed with intrigue and emotion, FROM A DISTANT STAR is a riveting novel about loyalty and the power of love.

Review

4 Stars Black

 

I enjoyed this book from start to end. It was a light read and had some really fun elements. In spite of being a Sci-Fi, it was more on the side of Romance fiction (other than a stranded alien.) I loved the characterization and felt a connection with the lead character, Emma, and even Scout (to some extent.)
I loved the plot line and though it felt a little off at a few places, it managed to pull me inside the story from the beginning till the end. I even loved the other characters. They felt very realistic and that’s where this book scored for me. That and the fact that it was a fast read.

I liked the writing style as well because it flowed nicely and wasn’t complicated like most of the Sci-Fi books. And unlike most of the YAs these days, this book is standalone, which is a big plus for anyone who wants to read a nice little piece of fiction.

It also had a great ending, one that I predicted when I was less than half through the book. But the author still managed to keep me second guessing it right till the end. So, it was a pleasant reading considering everything.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: A Piercing light flashed across the sky and plunged to the earth, landing in a farmer’s field.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A fast YA read.

Adventure · Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Fantasy · Horror · Michael Phillip Cash · Paranormal · Post Apocalypse · Urban Fantasy · Young Adult

Book Review: Monsterland

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Author: Michael Phillip Cash 
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Series: None
Genre: YA | Adventure | Urban Fantasy | Post-Apocalyptic | Horror>Zombies |
Paranormal>Vampires | Shapeshifter>Werewolves | Post-Apocalyptic
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Create Space
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.
Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

http://blewzen.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-vampire-zombie-sketches-450864569
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The story line of Monsterland is really unique, fresh and, I must admit, quite chilling (esp. the werewolf part.)

It’s not scary in the literal sense as such but it does gives the chills at more than one occasion. The descriptions are wildly realistic and the images they paint is worth all the time and money spent on this book. I felt that I was the one visiting the Monsterland with my friends and not the fictional characters. The story is beautifully crafted and the detailing is commendable. Being a paranormal/shapeshifter/horror storyline, the author successfully captured the character backgrounds and successfully added layers to the overall concept.

I enjoyed the book right from the first line right till the very last one. The overlapping of the paranormal and horror genres is commendable because, despite my initial reservations, the author managed to woo me with his amazing story and its execution. It is a job well done on the author’s part.

I felt a connection with each and every character of this book. What seemed to be pointless discussions of monster-obsessed teenagers in the initial pages of the book, made more and more sense as the story progressed and finally when it reached the last act.

I also enjoyed the last connection that the author made between the characters. It’s a well thought out storyline with 3-dimensional characters and layers and layers of different elements.

All the elements blended perfectly well together (except for one little thing- why was Raoul the vamp scared of the zombies!?!? Well, this crossed my mind only for a second before I got caught in the thrill of the moment and my mind moved on to other characters who were literally fighting for their lives (when the story is as good as this, who cares?)

I love myself some badass zombies but this is the first time I actually saw them sympathetically as “victims” and poor sick people who are not someone to be shot or bashed in the head by any/everyone, but a sad bunch of unfortunate people who caught the plague.

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By the starting of the end, I was actually feeling sad for all the three creatures- the zombies, the vamps and the werewolves- but by the end, all the other things faded from my mind and I experienced what I really wanted to (and why I really picked this book in the first place)  – a complete monster massacre.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The sky was a sparkling, power blue, mosquitoes droned lazily over the tepid water, frogs croaked messages while they sunbathed on waxy lilypads.

Memorable Quotes: 

Wyatt looked back at the main area of the park, feeling uneasy he was being led somewhere he shouldn’t be going.

Memorable Paragraphs: 

Wyatt glanced back in his rearview mirror and shifted uncomfortable in his seat, remembering why the sign unnerved him. It bore a stricking resemblance to a picture he has seen in his history book. The words were in German and read Arbeit Macht Frei– Work Makes You Free. It was the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

Highlights: Superb concept and amazing execution of all the elements.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A must read for paranormal and post-apocalyptic readers.


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley

 

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Erin Rhew · Fantasy · High fantasy · Magic · Magic/Elementals · Romance · Young Adult

Book Review: The Prophecy (The Fulfilment #1)

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Author: Erin Rhew 
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Series: The Fulfilment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 381
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Erin!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He’s grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear…not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash’s secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

Rating

TRB 4 half star

Review

Plot/Story:

I absolutely loved the plot line of The Prophecy. It’s entertaining as well as really emotionally involving. I really enjoyed the story and  it pulled me into the world of Vanguards, Ethereal and Outlanders right from the very beginning.

The world-building is superb and the author has really done a commendable job in detailing. The book is written in multiple POVs and takes us through the lives of all the three main characters in detail. The pace of the story is great and being an absorbing read and all it proved to be quite a fast read.

I’m really excited to read the next book in the series as I honestly want to explore the amazing world of this book.

Characters:

The characterization in this book is really impressive. I loved the main characters, Layla, Will and Nash and even the supporting characters of Vespa, Grant and Volton Holt (there were more but I’m just mentioning my favorites.) I was able to connect with them all and was able to feel all the emotions the characters were experiencing. I really wanted to cry when they cried and literally grin when something good happened (especially when Nash came in the picture.)

Romance:

This book is a romantic YA Fantasy, so what else do you expect!? It has tons and tons of romance and the author managed to pull off the love-triangle thing gracefully. Though at first I thought it to be a little weird, considering Layla’s nature, but it was all explained beautifully in the second half of the book. And yes, it all did make sense (which is really rare these days!)

Writing:

The writing is really powerful which I was expecting and which doesn’t come as a shock because the author is an editor and I’ve read quite a few books edited by there and they were really awesome! T

Begining:

The Prophecy pulled me in right from the start. I loved the Day Of Dawning was intrigued about all the cryptic thoughts Layla had about the First Ones and the Ecclesiastics. I mean that really, really made me curious and that was the point where I realised that I was in for a brilliant read.

Ending:

The ending surprised me, but I must say I did expect a little more (just a teeny bit.) I mean the ending was haw-inspiring but I kind of made my peace with it thinking that at least now Layla won’t have to choose between the two princes. Maybe it’ll be different in the second part but I really needed something more that would have made it a cliff-hanger of an ending.

Blurb:

The blurb is perfect and it totally managed to get me to read this book. So yeah, it’s as good as it can be.

Cover Art:

I absolutely cover the cover art of this book and it really makes me want to pick up a hardcover copy of the book.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Beware of gray skies; they can be an omen.

Highlights: The world-building.

Lowlights: None

Final Thoughts: An engaging fantasy read with brilliant world-building.


 

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Adventure · Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Contemporary Fiction · Fairytales · Fantasy · Magic · Romance · Shari Arnold · Young Adult

Book Review: Neverland

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Author: Shari Arnold
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Series: -
Genre: Retelling | Fairytale | Young Adult | Fantasy | Contemporary | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 359
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more.
But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound.
Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?
In this modern-day reimagining of Peter Pan, will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?

Rating

TRB 5 stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Neverland is a fairytale retelling of Peterpan and as far as I’m concerned this is the best book I’ve read so far in the fantasy genre. It has a dreamlike  imagery which will leave you craving and begging for more.

The pace of the story was perfect, not too fast, not too slow. I was able to not only read the story in front of me but was also able to live it forgetting everything around me.

This book is literally unputdownable and I love it so much that it has made its place at the top of my all-time favorites! I’ve already read it twice now and I’ll be re-reading it again soon.

Characters:

I absolutely adore the lead characters of Livy and Meyer, so much so that I guess I’m in love with Meyer! The relationship between Livy and Meyer developed slowly and beautifully. The vulnerability of Livy added more depth to each and every aspect of the story.

I wanted to cry when Livy felt hurt and wanted to do a happy dance whenever she got a positive response from Meyer. I even blushed a dozen times while reading about Livy and Meyer’s small interactions.

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Romance:

The beautiful budding romance between Livy and Meyer was nothing less than magical. It was slow and cute love that started as an odd friendship but developed into something more special. The thing that made their relationship so magical is the subtlety of feelings beautifully expressed by the author.

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Writing:

Shari Arnold’s writing style is so simple that it flows smoothly throughout the book. I enjoyed reading this book mainly because of the uncomplicated writing style. I didn’t just read this book, but I was really able to live it (and that’s something.)

Beginning:

The book started beautifully with Livy reading Peter Pan for children in a hospital. How can anyone not get emotionally involved right from the start with this kind of a start! I was swept right off my feet from the very first page. And as the story progressed I lost myself completely in the beautiful world of Livy and Meyer.

Ending:

Ahh… the ending. At first, I was like:

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But then after a few minutes, I thought about it and realized that it was for the best and that the ending couldn’t have been better. Yes, it wasn’t a straight out happy one, but it was realistic and, more importantly, acceptable. After being swept off by this story I really dreaded to know the end, but the author, Shari Arnold, really surprised me with a well-balanced ending.

Cover Art:

The cover art of this book is simply awesome. The colors are so pretty and subtle and the minimalistic design makes it a great cover.

Blurb:

The blurb is perfect and gives a fair idea of what to expect from the book. I picked it up from NetGalley after reading the blurb itself, so yeah, it totally worked for me, and I’m sure it’ll definitely get anyone else’s attention as well!

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It’s just before dinnertime at the Seatle Children’s Hospital.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

Their eyes are wide and curious, and I love that. If I focus on their eyes I can forget the disease each one carries around like a nametag.

I’ve found that death makes people uncomfortable, while the death of a child clears the room altogether.

God doesn’t save children around here. Sometimes it feels as if he’s collecting them.

Memorable Paragraph:

Jenna slides up closer to me, her excitement a temperature that keeps me warm. She and Alice are spell-bound. They’re the reason I love to tell stories. It doesn’t matter how often they’ve heard it, or that they already know what will happen next. A story is a story. It takes you away from what you’re doing and how you’re living right then, and whisks you away into someone else’s world.

Final Thoughts: This book is pure AWESOMENESS!!!


 

Dystopian · Fantasy · J.R. Stewart · Miscellaneous · Mystery · Post Apocalypse · Romance · Science-Fiction · Speculative-Fiction · Young Adult

Book Review: Nirvana (Nirvana #1)

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Author: J.R. Stewart
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Series: Nirvana
Genre: Young Adult|Sci-Fi|Dystopian|Fantasy|Mystery|Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 186
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized – even visits with Andrew.

Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.

Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking oan entire government to do so.

Rating

TRb 3 half star

 

Review

Plot/Story:

Nirvana is an amazing YA read with a really fresh plot line and a great new dystopian world setting. I loved the characterisations and the fast pace of the story.

I was really impressed with the storyline and the world-building concept of Nirvana, though, it lacked a little behind when it came to the execution of these two concepts. I enjoyed the book (no doubt about it) but somewhere I felt that if the second half of the book can be tweaked a little bit then it can be at par with the best-selling YA reads of today.

Characters:

I loved the lead character, Kenders, and was able to feel a connection with her. Though, in the second half of the book I felt that connection slipping (as soon as Serge comes into picture.) I loved Andrew, the male lead, as well but sadly the same thing  happened with him.

Romance/Kills:

This book falls in the romance genre as the plot depends on the romantic relationship between Kenders and Andrew. And like any other dystopian book there is a love triangle (Kenders, Andrew and Serge) but thankfully it’s not a farfetched one. It starts and ends within an acceptable time frame and now I’m really looking forward to the next instalment of this series.

Writing:

I enjoyed the easy flow of author’s style of writing. It’s simple yet relatable and makes reading this book a pleasant experience. Having said that, I’d like to point out that I felt that the first half of the book was excellent whereas the second half lagged a little behind not only in terms of the plot line but also in terms of the characterisation and flow of the story.

Beginning:

I started enjoying Nirvana right from the first sentence and continued to do so halfway through the book. Everything was just amazing and I had no issues with anything (but only till the first half.)

Ending:

The second half of the book along with the ending felt quite weak to me. The plot went on to some other uninteresting tangent and ruined an otherwise excellent story. I really hope that the sequel will be better than this one.

Blurb:

The blurb is good, but I felt that it actually revealed a major spoiler about Andrew’s fake death. I would have liked it better to have come across  it while reading the book instead of the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is marvellous. I really like the eerie feeling it radiates. It’s just perfect.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Eight-year-old Larissa Kenders pulls a doll tighter toward her and opens one eye.

Highlights: Plot line.

Lowlights: Second half of the book.

Final Thoughts: A decent dystopian read with a rather weak ending.

Adventure · Axel Blackwell · Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Fantasy · favourite · Magic · Mystery · Supernatural · Suspense · Thriller · Young Adult

Book Review: Sisters Of Sorrow

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Author:  Axel Blackwell
Release Date: 24th April, 2015
Series: February 17, 2015
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure | Young Adult | Magic | Supernatural | Mystery | Thriller | Suspense
Edition: mobi
Pages: 332
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Anna Dufresne lives in a factory that eats children. If the brutal machines don’t kill Anna, her guardians’ neglect and abuse probably will. The only thing this abandoned teen wants is out. But the factory is inside a stone fortress, on an island, where people are sent to be forgotten. It serves as a dumping ground — both for orphans who are not welcome at finer institutions, and for nuns who have disgraced the Church. The walls of Saint Frances du Chantal’s Orphan Asylum hum with secrets and buried scandal.

In the catacombs below the factory, something long dead, something almost forgotten, stirs. It offers Anna a key, and promises freedom, if she will seek it out when she escapes. She knows her plan will endanger the other children, but Anna cannot resist the call of freedom.

Her escape attempt triggers a chain reaction of chaos, shaking the orphanage to its foundation and laying bare its deadly secrets. As Anna flees into the night, she discovers that the evil nuns were the least of her worries. The swirling mist of the island hides terrors more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Rating

5-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Sisters Of Sorrow has an amazingly superb plot-line. It is a complete adventure-mystery package and this book is by far one of the best books I’ve read by an independent author. I enjoyed each and every chapter to the core and I literally had to drag myself away from the book to sleep at night.

This book is a masterpiece and I’ll recommend it to all the adventure and mystery fans. If you want to read a good book with an amazing story and superbly crafted characters, then this book is for YOU.

This book is about an orphan girl who tries her best to get away the cruel nuns of SFDCOA. She risks everything, even the life of her girls (sisters) and other orphans. But when she gets out, she discovers the ugly truths of the island and the asylum itself. The story shows her struggles and dilemmas beautifully and the of course highlights her choices which ultimately makes her a hero.

I enjoyed every ounce of this story and I’m going to re-read it soon, in fact I wanted to start it over again as soon as I finished it, but I have a lot of stuff to do right now to indulge in something so absorbing.

Axel Blackwell has beautifully proved that YA genre is so much more than Hunger Games, Divergent and Immortal Instruments.

Characters:

The author, Axel, did a fabulous job in creating, what I like to call as, the perfect characters. The characterisation is so strong that you’ll fall in love with each and every single character. I felt so bonded with Anna and Donny that I wanted to get in the book and help them out at tight places.

Even the characters of the evil nuns are so beautifully created that you’ll want to get stay away from McCain and Eustace.

Another character that I really enjoyed was that of Joey. The author really impressed me with such a unique character. I enjoyed having such a different being in a story like this.

Romance/Kills:

It’s a YA book and the main character is 14 years old, so there’s no romance but there’s a lot of love. Anna’s love for her girls (whom she lovingly calls her sisters of sorrow) is so heart-warming. Her attitude towards all her girls make me want to cry the tears of joy. She is such a brave little girl that I really, really love her.

Writing:

Writing style of Axel Blackwell compliments the story beautifully. He is an amazing story-teller. the writing is simple and perfect. I enjoyed reading the perfectly written third person throughout the book and based on this book I’m going to read all the books by him.

Beginning:

My heart clenched so bad when the story began. The nuns terrified me to no end and thinking about little girls and boys under their supervision gave me the willies.

The beginning was so powerful that as soon as I read the first page, I knew that I’m not going to be putting this book down anytime soon. I started to feel the bond with all the characters (that were mentioned from beginning) in the initial pages only and by the time I was half way through the book, I knew it’s going to be my new favourite.

Ending:

The ending of this book is perfect. It couldn’t have been better than what it is. I was so relieved and happy that the author maintained his level of brilliance throughout the book, till the very last word.

Blurb:

The blurb gives a fair idea about what to expect from the book. This book has so much to offer that it’s practically impossible to sum it up in a small blurb.

Cover Art:

Nice. I really like it and coupled with the blurb, it gives a really mysterious feel to the book. I love it.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Anna Dufresne sat on the edge of her cot in the predawn hour, staring down at her mummified pinky finger.

Highlights: Amazing plot and brilliant characterisation.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

When I’m dead, there’s nothing else they can take away. And that is it’s own kind of freedom.

No food and no blankets gets you dead little girls and boys.

If a child will not work, neither let him eat.

Being Anna’s friend is a bad idea.

They can only kill you once. After that, they can never hurt you again.

Memorable Quote:

A troop of broken orphans, shell shocked into doing the next thing that must be done. The only difference was that this time, the next thing that must be done involved sneaking through a storm while being chased by ax-weilding nuns and a Joseph-Thing. These girls have faced the stampers and needle machines on a daily basis, this wasn’t much worse.

“Lady!” Jane interrupted, in a voice that made Anna want to hide under a cot. “are you blind as well as stupid? Look around you. There used to be a fortress here. It stood here for a hundred years. It’s gone now. You know why? Because it made Anna it’s enemy. If anyone ought to be scared, lady, it’s you. There used to be a factory there, now it’s just a hole full of sand and seaweed, because it tried to keep Anna on this island.

“Anna fought off an entire order of evil nuns, an army of mercenary witch-hunters, a pack of wolves and a-a-a Joseph-Thing, to rescue her girls and get us off this island. And now you are going to just saunter up in your silly white dress and threaten her? I’ve seen a lot of moronic behaviour since I’ve lived here, lady, but you take the cake. You are one dumb-witch.”

Final Thoughts: You’ve GOT to read this book!!!


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Dystopian · Paranormal · Susan Ee · Young Adult

Book Review: Angelfall (Penryn And The End Of Days #1)

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Author: Susan Ee
Release Date: January 1st, 2011
Series: Penryn & The End Of Days
Genre:  Young Adult | Dystopian | Post-Apocalyptic | Fantasy | Paranormal > Angels
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 288
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing and Skyscape
Source: NetGalley
Followed By: World After (Penryn & The End Of Days #2)

Continue reading “Book Review: Angelfall (Penryn And The End Of Days #1)”

Book Reviews (by Genre) · Books Reviews (by Author) · Kody Keplinger · Young Adult

Book Review: The DUFF

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Author: Kody Keplinger 
Release Date: January 1st, 2010
Series: None
Genre:  Young Adult | Contemporary |  Chick Lit. | Fiction
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 370
Publisher: Machete Children's Books
Source: NetGalley

Continue reading “Book Review: The DUFF”